On June 29, 2012, Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) by a vote of 373 to 52 in the House and 74 to 19 in the Senate. The legislation extends excise taxes funding the federal Highway Trust Fund through September, 2014, in the case of the motor fuel taxes and through September, 2016, in the case of the heavy vehicle use taxes.
When it comes to complying with complex accounting, financial, statutory and tax reporting requirements under both U.S. GAAP and IFRS, even innocent mistakes can be deadly. One U.S. based global provider of oil field technology and supplies found that out the hard way. The company was forced to restate its financials twice within six months, and each one resulted in a roughly $500 million adjustment in its financial statements, including penalties, fees and other costs.
Corporate tax, finance and accounting professionals need to keep a sharp eye on shifts in the maze of tax rules and regulations, which can be challenging. The authors of CCH Expert Treatise: Federal Taxation of Corporations and Shareholders, Andrew Eisenberg and Daniel Schneider, track federal taxation trends. They have narrowed the issues down to the top five to watch right now:
On April 19, 2012, the House, by a vote of 235 to 173, passed the Small Business Tax Cut bill (HR 9). The legislation would grant a 20-percent tax cut to small businesses with up to 500 employees. The estimated $46 billion one-year cost of the legislation was not offset. The legislation is unlikely to be taken up by the Senate and faces a veto threat from President Obama.
On March 29, 2012, with the House and Senate unable to agree on a long-term approach to transportation funding and with a March 31 deadline looming, Congress instead passed a 90-day extension of current funding without additional tax provisions. The President signed the legislation on March 30, 2012. The legislation will again be taken up after the Congressional recess period.
A reduced corporate tax rate, elimination of many business tax preferences, a new minimum tax on overseas profits, and much more are all part of President Obama’s recently released Framework for Business Tax Reform (the “Framework”).
On November 10, 2011, the Senate, by a vote of 95 to 0, approved legislation to repeal the three percent withholding on government contracts scheduled to take effect in 2013. The House also passed repeal legislation on October 27, 2011.